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Entry refused
in New Zealand

 Important note: All information contained in this topic about visas to New Zealand, should be considered only as a guide and is not the official information. We cannot guarantee they are correct. For official and up-to-date information, see the official website of New Zealand Immigration official or web of the New Zealand Embassy in your country.

Many people go back home from the NZ airport without having the pleasure (or displeasure) to feel the fragrant smell of the famous spa town of Rotorua. NZ became famous and attracts lots if  young people from all over the world, in search of a place in the sun in the land of Aotearoa. One of the reasons is New Zealand is one of the few places in the world that exempts some countries from pre-visa, ie depending on the country of citizenship, you can just catch a plane and on arrival at the airport, the immigration officer will decide whether to let in or not. If your country has no agreement with New Zealand, then you need to apply for a visa before traveling.


But over time NZ immigration officials realized that the goal of many tourists, traveling was not the main reason for the trip, but to work, which is not allowed by law with a visitor visa holders or Tourist visa. Further more they found out many of these tourists were overstaying  and becaming illegal in the country. Nowadays the reality is different, and the immigration in NZ is much more selective with who they will let in or not.

Many people is afraid to be barred from the airport, and asked how to avoid that. The answer is simple, if the person is entering with legitimate intentions and meets the criteria for that type of visa or, I do not see any reason to fear to be questioned by the NZ officer on arrival. NZ gets zillions of tourists per year from all nationalities and with flights coming from various parts of the world. They know about typical balance of age groups such as children with parents, there are elderly, youth, etc ... If a flight arrives with more than 60 young people between 18 and 26 years on board, all singles, and they are not  gorup, part of club or association , the officer could suspects the reasons and may not allow entry of all, each case will be interviewed but if they failed they will be sent back home. Some issues had happened with people booking English courses for short duration, and never attended classes and staying illegal after the due date in the visa . As these facts became frequently with people not respecting the laws, the result has been a much more careful selection at the airport of who they will allow to enter or not. Legitimate tourists and students do not have to worry about it, mainly by showing receipts for booking courses, hotels, tours etc and most people do the right way.

Some reasons that may lead an immigration officer not allow a person to enter in NZ could be criminal records, terrorosm linkage, prior deportation from another country, show a lack of purpose about what to do in New Zealand, not enough founds or money to ensure the stay support themselves food and accommodation. Another reason is to lie, or contradict the information provided to the Immigration officer. For example: A person is on vacation (the overwhelming majority of tourists visiting New Zealand stay for 15 days or less). Bringing a huge suitcase with clothes and personal stuff unusual for holidays it may indicate a peson has other plans. Probably the officer will do extra questions to make sure about the visitor's purpose.

For those wanting to be (almost) sure will be allowed to enter in NZ it is possible to obtain a pre-visa with the embassy or consulate of New Zealand in the country of origin. The same case would be indicated to people who have been barred before and want to return to New Zealand, they will need to obtain a pre-visa before traveling. Either way the final word will be done by the immigration officer at the airport in Auckland (or Christchurch).

Note 1: The minimum value stipulated by the government as founds to stay in New Zealand as visitor is NZ $ 1000 per month.This does not include spending on courses.In other words, this money would be primarily for the food transport and accommodation, or NZ$ 400 if accommodation is already prepaid . 

Note 2: Bring documents and receipts supporting your payments for tours, courses, accommodation, or an invitation letter, if a person who is in the country have invited  you to visit and will support you. It's important to show any proof of financial support, such as cash, credit card, check against payment of wages by corporations, sponsor letter showing financial responsibility etc. These documents are not always required, but is good to have them with you. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date you leave New Zealand. That is, if  you stay in NZ three months, the passport must be valid for at least 9 months from the date of entry.

The immigration officer asked how did I enter in the country ? I said the truth- I fell from the sky!
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